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On Tuesday 25 July, more than 140 children together with around 60 parents and caregivers were treated to a thrilling variety of hands-on science activities in University Parks. ‘Science in the Park’ was run by DPAG’s Outreach and Public Engagement Working Group (OPEWG), in collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry, with 30 volunteers comprising research scientists, graduate students and professional services staff.

collage of different activities run during the Science in the Park 2023 montage © Tomoko Watanabe

The collaborative group of volunteers delivered seven hands-on activities including blood matching, microscopy, making plasticine cells, and drawing neurons. Aimed primarily at children, DPAG and Biochemistry scientists were on hand to answer questions and share fun facts.

Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Leader Fellow Hugo Fernandes and Clarendon Scholar DPhil student Ajantha Abey of the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre based in the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery put on a range of exciting neuroscience activities. 

Hugo said: "It was a lovely day in the park that provided a fantastic opportunity to tell children of all ages (and many adults!) a little bit about the human brain and the neuroscience research in our Department. Children were very curious to find out more about the structure of our brain using the model brain and were fascinated by the different visual illusions we prepared for them. Children delighted us with their artistic skills in drawing, painting and modelling neurons - turns out that neurons can be very bright and colourful! Our mirror drawing exercise was a very simple yet powerful way to highlight how Dementia patients might struggle with even the simplest of tasks - this exercise was targeted mainly for adults who really appreciated this message."

Read the full story on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics website.